Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/343

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Dress.

bark of paper mulberry is made, but roughly, in Ysabel, and worn in Florida; it was made till lately in Ulawa and San Cristoval; a rough kind, made perhaps always from the bark of banyan figs, is used in the New Hebrides. When such cloth was in use the name of it, e.g. tivi in Ysabel and Florida, sala in Ulawa, was ready for European cloth. In Aurora gavu, and in the Banks' Islands nearest to Aurora gagavu, is used for cloth, no doubt identical with the Maori kahu and kakahu. In Mota the word siopa was applied at once to European clothes, which, as the natives knew nothing of tapa, was surprising. The native explanation is that the Tongans, who for two years visited the Banks' Islands and made a short settlement on Qakea, were clothed with siopa. They have in fact shifted the vowels in siapo, hiapo (the Maori hiako, bark), the name of bark cloth in Tonga and Samoa. In Motlav, again, the word malsam was applied to cloth, of which the first syllable is no doubt the common malo of Fiji and elsewhere. It was strange that among the people of the Banks' Islands, where the men were content to go without any covering at all, the art of making a very handsome and elaborate dress was known; this was the malo saru, the malo put on over the head, of variegated matting work in four pieces joining at the neck, worn in dances by those of sufficient rank to do so. The art expired some years ago with the last two men who practised it. Two malo saru, probably the only existing examples, are in the British Museum, one of which is shewn on page 108. To all appearance the work, which much resembles that in the Santa Cruz mats, must, like those, have been produced in a kind of loom.

The dress of women varies remarkably, and does not vary quite in accordance with the changes in the dress of men. In Florida and its neighbourhood in the Solomon Islands, where the male dress is scanty but perhaps sufficient, the women have short petticoats of fibre. In the south-eastern Solomon Islands the male attire is very scanty, and the women are contented with a fringe. The men again at Santa Cruz are amply clad in what may perhaps be called the dress of the